02.09.2013 - 02.09.2013 38 °C
The three day pass permits tourists to visit the temples of Angkor three times in the space of one week so we decided today to have a day off and recooperate before we set off on our bikes again tomorrow. Yesterday at the ticket booth buying our ticket we had seen a sign asking for blood donors at the Children Hospital. We had previously read about this back home before we set off on our trip so knew it was a good cause and was safe.
We had a late brunch at a local place and ordered a set for two people of Khmer food. We ordered fresh spring rolls which came with a spicy peanut dipping sauce Amok and a curry. Amok is fragrant curry heavily flavoured with coconut and the curry was a creamy orange coconut based curry that reminded us of the Thai curry masaman. It was yummy and we set off to the hospital. Upon arrival outside the hospital was a mob of vendors and tuk-tuk drivers clustered around and inside the gates was packed with people. It was overwhelming and we didn't know where to go. A guard approached us and told us that it would be better if we came back after 2pm as it was lunch time and they were short staffed.
We went into a cafe and had a cold homemade lemonade and did some blog writing and before we knew it 2pm had arrived.
We were quite nervous since our last visit and Liam was threatening to back out. We had read a lot about the hospital and so knew it was clean and safe and it is funded by the NGO. The hospital provides free healthcare to any child under 16 and is committed to the improvement and quality of free healthcare in Cambodia and the training of doctors and nurses.
Upon arrival and guard showed us where to go and we were taken through a maze of buildings into a small lab with two beds. There are so many patients at the hospital and all around are women with their babies waiting to be seen. As we walked past the children said hello and waved and it was hard to see such a big group of sick children and underprivileged families.
In the lab room we were greeted by a young and professional doctor. We filled in a form to check if it was safe for us to donate, he took our blood pressure and he took a sample of our blood to make sure we had enough iron.
He then took our blood in turn, Liam was first and he was nervous, making the doctor chuckle at him. It only takes about half and hour and at the end we were presented with a little card with our blood group on and a gift to say thank you, a t-shirt, some crackers, a can of cola and some multi vitamins.
It is a really good way to give something back when in Siem Reap and we think that rather than give to the street kids or buy the postcards everyone should just spend half an hour and give blood. Last year less than 1500 people gave blood to the hospital and this is the most they have ever had. The doctor told us they get a maximum of around two or three people per day. Considering the amount of people visit Siem Reap every year this is hardly any.